"You’ve Got an Irish Catholic Presidential Candidate Struggling to Win His Own Town and His Own County,”

The Democrats reinvented their party as a faction of college hipsters and angry minority activists, and they're paying the price for it in the areas that used to be their base. 

2016 showed how heavy the price was. 2020, with the Democrats making a play for their old base of working class white voters in swing states, while trying to keep their new radical coalition together, will be the real acid test.

The President was arriving the following afternoon to host a rally outside of Scranton, Joe Biden’s home town, on the same day that Biden would accept his Presidential nomination, at the Democratic National Convention. 

In 2016, however, Trump took Pennsylvania by forty-four thousand votes. Lackawanna County has followed a similar pattern. In 2008, it went to Obama by twenty-eight thousand votes. In 2016, Hillary Clinton—whose grandfather worked in a nearby lace factory, and whose grandparents are buried on the west side of town—managed to hold it by only three thousand votes. 

There's a good reason for that.

The nearest Democratic Party office is in Peckville, a fifteen-minute drive away. “If Biden has an office here in Scranton, it’s a secret,” Stange told me. “I don’t know where it is.”

The Democrats have no reason to be here. It's not theirs anymore.

Pennsylvania, Republican registration is outpacing that of Democrats. Since 2016, the G.O.P. has added more than a hundred thousand registered voters in the state, while the Democrats have lost eighty thousand... 

“Now you’ve got an Irish Catholic Presidential candidate struggling to win his own town and his own county,” Borick said. 

Biden can do all the fake blue collar posturing he wants, but he doesn't speak to what used to be his base within his memory. The Democrats have radicalized and they're paying the price for that radicalism.

Dave Elliott, Scranton’s former police chief, told me that he, too, was concerned about the protests. “I supported Clinton because he was pro-police,” he said. He had once liked Biden, too, because the senator spoke the language of law and order. “Now he has completely flipped,” Eliott said. “He’s vilifying police officers today and turning criminals into victims.” He would be voting for Trump in the upcoming election.

And the Democrats aren't even really contesting the shift. They see their future with the products of the academic factory, with suburbanites who will be happy to sit through the critical race theory sessions. At least in theory.

Ridder, the Biden spokesperson, told me that the campaign has been “building on the gains Democrats made in 2018 in the suburbs.”

Everyone gets the message.